What is a Network Attached Storage?

09/15/2020 | by Jeff Fowler

Network Attached Storage

As your data storage needs expand, you will inevitably outgrow traditional external USB hard drives and shared folders. There’s a huge cost difference between using shared folders/external drives versus having a dedicated file server. Luckily, there’s another option that fills the gap between those options nicely, and it’s a Network Attached Storage device. It’s more versatile than standard external drives and more economical than a file server.

A Network-attached Storage (NAS) is a newer method of storing data and when properly configured, the data can be accessible from anywhere. They have a network interface, processor, memory, and storage media, much like a standard computer or server. NAS devices come in many different scales, from a 2TB home solution resembling an external hard drive to a large 12+ drive bay with a powerful multi-core processor.

How does it work?

A NAS device functions like a small file server that can fit on your desk. While you can usually connect it via USB, the real benefit of a NAS comes from it being connected directly to the network. Once connected and configured properly, the NAS can be accessed from any machine with the proper login credentials. It has its own IP address, just like any other device connected to the network. With some more advanced configuration, it can be accessed from outside of your home or office network. This is often referred to as “cloud storage”.

How can I benefit from a NAS?

The true benefit of a NAS is that the data can be made to be accessible from any device at any location. You can basically have your own private cloud storage. The biggest benefit of a NAS versus a cloud storage solution is increased performance as the device is connected to your local network.

What about NAS Security?

Security is always a big concern anytime something is connected to a network and should never be taken lightly. NAS devices typically offer security options such as encryption, Secure Sockets Layer, Two-Factor Authentication and other security options to minimize the chances of your data being vulnerable. If you have questions about how to best setup your NAS device, please consult with a trusted IT partner to assist you.

If you have any question about Network Attached Storage devices, feel free to call your local technology experts at SandStorm IT at 901-475-2075. We can help you solve all of your storage and security needs!

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